The Political Basis of Support for European Integration
Much previous research on popular support for European integration assumes that support is a function of economic calculations. I propose a different model, in which support is the consequence of the interplay between supranational and national politics: the higher citizens' opinion of the functioning of supranational institutions and the lower that of national institutions, the greater their support for integration. This is so because the worse the opinion of the national political system, the lower the opportunity cost of transferring sovereignty to Europe. In order to illustrate this hypothesis, I show that levels of national support for integration are higher in those countries that suffer greater corruption and have less-developed welfare states. Through an ordered logit analysis of one Eurobarometer survey, I test this political model at the individual level. Finally, I draw some conclusions from the empirical analysis for current discussions on the possibility of a European democracy.